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*Article by Josh Allen/Managing Editor – eParisExtra.com*
During the early afternoon hours on Sunday, July 1, after an argument between a father and his daughter’s alleged boyfriend, a male victim was shot and killed, according to Paris Police Chief, Bob Hundley.
At 5:16pm, Paris Police responded to the 911 call of a reported shooting in the 2800 block of Willow Bend Dr.
A younger male victim was transported to Paris Regional Medical Center – North Campus where he was pronounced dead after receiving a single gunshot wound to the chest.
According to Police Chief Hundley, an older male is currently in custody after telling officers he fired the fatal shot, which happened at his residence.
Preliminary information indicates that the younger male was in a relationship with the man’s daughter.
In an article on the Examiner written by Sheila Carroll (www.examiner.com), ‘a neighbor of the residence stated, that earlier in the day the 29-year-old male had spoken with the homeowner by phone. The homeowner had warned the 29-year-old male to stay away from the house on Willow Bend.’
The younger man, not heeding to that warning, and the homeowner broke into an alleged quarrel that ultimately resulted in the gun being pulled and the shot fired by the homeowner, leading to the younger man’s death.
Click to read: Names of victim and shooter in fatal shooting released
The Rotary clubs in Paris plan to light up the sky once again on July 3 .This year marks the 27th annual Independence Day Fireworks Show, which begins at about 7:30 p.m. at Noyes Stadium. It is a joint effort from Paris Rotary Club and the Greater Paris Rotary Club.
“The actual fireworks display occurs basically at the starting of deep dusk,” said Paris Rotary Club President Chris Snodgrass. “That’s roughly around 9 o’clock.”
Things get started well before then, however. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for those who want to show up extra early and perhaps bring a picnic dinner.
Paris Municipal Band will hold a concert featuring patriotic music, including a reading of portions of the Declaration of Independence. The Paris Community Choir is also involved.
About 8:30 p.m., the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will present the colors. Just before the big show, members of the Blue Skies Parachute Team will skydive into the stadium.
The fireworks show lasts nearly 15 minutes. They’re synchronized to music, which will be broadcast on 96.3 FM and 1490 AM.
This is the first year for the choir and Girl Scouts to be involved, said Susan Chapman, chair of the fireworks committee. Work has been going since last year’s show, with an effort made to include more groups than in the past.
There will also be a concession stand available, and admission is free. The Rotary clubs bear the cost of the roughly $15,000 event, seeking sponsorships beforehand and donations at the show.
“There’s no pressure, but if you want to donate a couple of bucks, that helps defer the cost of fireworks,” Chapman said.
Rotary has been making the effort for more than a quarter century at the stadium, always on July 3.
“We wanted the community to have the old-fashioned, traditional Fourth of July celebration,” Snodgrass said. “We want to recognize the patriotism of this country and the importance of the sacrifices that have been made.”
Monster Trucks Night of Thrills Spectacular hit the rodeo arena at Red River Valley Fairgrounds on Saturday, featuring motocross races and Monster Jam trucks such as Reptoid, Predator, Prowler and Outta Control. Each truck has about 1,700 horsepower and weighs more than 10,000 pounds and is capable of jumping about 30 feet in the air. Before the show, all ticket holders had access to the “Pit Party,” where they got to get up close to trucks and drivers, take pictures and get autographs.
This year’s Lamar County Relay for Life was one for the record books with more than 40 teams participating – the most ever.
“This is our stellar year,” said event Chair Carolyn Lockett. “You all are the reason why.
This year’s relay was the 11th for Lamar County and drew more than 400 people. Volunteers put more than 10 months of work into making it a success. This year’s theme was “Paris 500…Lamar County Race For A Cure.”
“This is a pretty emotional time for me,” Lockett said as her voice cracked. She said some call her a cry baby at Relay for Life. “But that’s OK because these are tears of joy.”
Pastor Shannon Mcguire from Orange Chapel Baptist Church in Arthur City gave the invocation.
“We pray for research. We pray that a cure for this disease would be found,” he said. “We pray that tonight would be a success.”
Members of the church’s choir sang “God Bless America” and other selections.
Each relay has a guest survivor message. This year’s came from 14-year-old Amanda Berry. Berry, who will be a freshman at Paris High School and the mascot, was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 10. It was treatable, though. It did damage her pituitary gland, requiring lifelong medication.
“I have a great crew to get me through the race,” she said, mentioning God, Jesus, family, friends, doctors and nurses. “Thank you for supporting Relay for Life 500. And in the spirit of NASCAR: Boogety, boogety, boogety, let’s go walking, people.”
The event started with a survivor lap for those who had beaten cancer, then caregivers. Teams made a little parade around the track, and then the relay began in earnest.
Many of the early songs being played had fight themes like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” or were about walking, like “Walk This Way” by Run DMC and Aerosmith, “Walk of Life” by the Dire Straits and the Pretenders’ “500 Miles.”
Many teams had shirts with messages that proclaimed their reasons for participating, such as: “I am hope,” “There’s no finish line until we find a cure,” “Fight for a cure,” “Fight like a girl” and “Never give up.”
“I am here relaying because I want to see more birthdays,” Lockett said. “I have grandchildren I don’t want to ever have to hear those dreaded words: ‘You have cancer.’ I am relaying for research.”
Rather than get entangled in the transportation department’s requirements for a loan to widen Highway 24, the Paris Economic Development Corp. has elected to pay its $1.45 million share in cash.
“Should we just pay the $1.45 million to TxDOT and not have any obligation and get them out of our business?” PEDC Director Steve Gilbert said during a special meeting Friday.
Texas Department of Transportation has indicated such an arrangement is workable. Many of the details are still being finalized in the agreement. The Sulphur River Regional Mobility Authority hopes to have it all settled in less than two months.
TxDOT will fund most of the $38.6 million project to widen Highway 24 to four lanes in Delta County. SuRRMA has taken a loan from TxDOT’s State Infrastructure Bank to pay for the remaining $4.5 million.
Using a SIB loan is a fairly common practice. But where most regional authorities have toll revenue to pay them back on their own, SuRRMA relies on funding from other regional bodies to pay for the loan – Delta County, Cooper, Paris, Lamar County and PEDC.
PEDC delayed a resolution at a previous meeting that would have solidified its repayment obligation. The resolution had a great deal of language governing PEDC’s debt. TxDOT wanted to make sure payments for the highway project remained on an equal footing with any other debt PEDC might take on. It started largely with existing bond debt the corporation is paying off after an old deal with Paris Packaging.
PEDC had looked at a defeasance process that would remove the bonds from its books, putting $2.37 million in an escrow account for a third party to pay it out.
“The TxDOT lawyers have put a lot of restrictive language in that resolution,” Gilbert said. “They could basically control our ability to do or not do something like the deal with Paris Packaging.”
The defeasance would get the debt off of PEDC’s books, but the cost might not have made it a good deal, Board President Pike Burkhart said. Today’s low interest rates meant it made more sense to pay it out rather than put more than $2 million into an account.
Plus, he said, it wouldn’t gain much for the economic development corporation on the TxDOT side, because the state agency would still want the same restrictions on future debt.
The defeasance would simplify the resolution, Gilbert noted.
“Would that keep them from hamstringing us?” Board member Douglas Wehrman asked.
“No,” Gilbert replied.
If the project winds up coming in under budget, PEDC won’t get any kind of refund. Instead, any leftover funds would be applied to the SIB loan, lowering the payments for the city and county.
“But if there is a cost overrun, we would pay a pro rata share of the overrun,” Gilbert said. “That’s been on the table since the beginning.”
The move did require a $1.45 million amendment for the current budget to pull the money from reserves and pay TxDOT.
In other business, the board: